Sir Greg Winter’s Bicycle Therapeutics shifts through the gears with £3.75m investment
Bicycle Therapeutics, the drug discovery firm set up by the man behind Cambridge’s largest ever biotech sale, CAT, is to start work on its first drug candidates after it raised £3.75 million in VC investment, its first funding round in over two and a half years.
Based at Babraham Research Campus, Bicycle Therapeutics was founded in 2009 by Sir Gregory Winter and Dr Christian Heinis who were then both at the prolific MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge. The company says its technology will enable the discovery of a new class of drug candidate with antibody-like selectivity and specificity, but which can be manufactured with economics similar to new chemical entities.
Only now though will it start applying the technology to drug candidates for commercial exploitation, marking what CEO, Rolf Günther, says is its transition from technology development to drug discovery. We are now expanding our discovery efforts to address multiple drug target classes, said Günther.
The £3.75m is a fairly modest sum for a company established by Sir Greg whose two previous companies feature in Cambridge’s all-time largest sales: CAT which sold for £702m to AstraZeneca and Domantis, which went to GSK for £230m.
Since its earliest seed funding days Bicycle Therapeutics has been backed by VCs and the new round brings another one in: Astellas Venture Management, the venture capital arm of Astellas Pharma, joins existing investors Atlas Venture, Novartis Venture Fund, SR One and SV Life Sciences.
Bicycle will now invest in a selection of drug candidates using its bicyclic peptide technology platform, which is being applied to projects in oncology, metabolic and inflammatory diseases. The platform will also be made accessible for collaborative discovery with pharma partners.